I wanted to share a few thoughts from our first week before I give the day five summary:
First, it’s impossible for any summary of these sessions to do justice to the quality of the speakers, information and dialogue. If you missed something that looks interesting, go back and access the recording through Whova.
Second, kudos to our amazing staff at Clean Fuels Ohio, especially Rachel Ellenberger and Malerie Holte. Our staff has mounted an all-hands-on-deck, do whatever it takes effort. It’s paid off in an experience that we hope has met or exceeded attendee and sponsor expectations.
Next, thanks to our great conference partners, especially our partnering Clean Cities coalitions. Our peer coalition directors have done an outstanding job moderating the sessions. The talent in our community is unmatched.
Thanks also to our great speakers – over 120 strong! We deeply appreciate your generosity, talent and time. You are providing great information, insights and dialogue to this virtual event.
Last, but not least, thanks to our many sponsors and exhibitors. Without you, this event would not be possible. It certainly wouldn’t have been possible to achieve our goal of providing this event free to anyone who wanted to access it.
Now onto the summary for Friday, September 18.
We kicked off the morning at 9 am with a strong expo session, featuring Keith Dickerson at Black and Veatch, Irina Filappova at Electrada, Rose Lenoff at GreenSpot, Cynthia Maves at Lordstown Motors, and Morgan Kauffman at Columbus Yellow Cab. There were many useful takeaways from this session and it was valuable to have this combination of resources from the EVSE industry, engineering consulting expertise, EV manufacturing, and a large and highly innovative fleet.
Next, at 10:30 am, we presented Local Policy Models and Campaign, moderated by Brendan Kelley, featuring Joe Flarida with Power a Clean Future Ohio (PCFO), Katherine Stainken with Plug In America (PIA), and Samantha Bingham from the City of Chicago. Joe laid out the PCFO campaign and discussed the vital roles of transportation electrification in that effort. PCFO is offering technical support across a wide range to local governments. Clean Fuels Ohio is the lead on transportation.
Next, Katherine discussed PIA’s work as the “voice of the EV consumer.” PIA has just released the fourth edition of its AchiEVe toolkit aimed at local governments. AchiEVe is loaded with actionable information on policy and models for local leaders that include right-of-way rules, make ready codes, right to charge, loan programs, fleet electrification, parking regulations and much more.
Then, Samantha provided an overview of Chicago’s new “make ready” building code that requires all new buildings to be EV ready with wiring and panel capacity. This code will be a model for many other cities. Sam commented on the need for more public charging. Paradoxically, the Chicago area has new charging in the suburbs but is lacking them in the city. This is despite 70% of City residents living in multi-unit housing, much of which lacks access to charging. More public charging is needed.
At 1:00 pm, we presented Models and Best Practices for Residential and Workplace Charging. Ann Vail from Louisiana Clean Cities did an excellent job as moderator. Panelists included Nicole Lepre from Atlas Public Policy, Shanna Browstein from Portland General Electric, Kevin Kushman with Electrada and David Slutsky with Fermata Energy. Nicole reviewed results from their study on charging at multi-unit residential properties. Projects are more challenging due to lack of consistency, complexity, and cost. It’s also very important for incentive programs to provide high levels of incentives, especially for residences that serve low to moderate income communities. Shanna shared that new transportation electrification programs are coming soon at Portland General Electric. She focused on their pilot that uses utility pole mounted charging. Use of the public right of way (ROW) is very challenging, but using light poles takes advantage of electrified assets that already exist there. She agreed that serving residents without garage access is a huge equity issue and will be critical to building large-scale EV adoption.
Kevin framed workplace charging as serving multiple purposes. It can supplement or sometimes substitute for lack of reliable home charging. Chargers also provide value to the employer to build brands, to serve fleets and the community, to provide an employee amenity and as part of social responsibility. He stressed the need to plan for the future as more charging is needed over time.
Finally, David spoke to Fermata’s unique solution integrating EVs to the grid and leveraging value while vehicles are parked – something that internal combustion vehicles can never do. Today, all EVs are equipped as utility demand response assets, where time of charge can be externally controlled. Only the Nissan Leaf is approved for bi-directional charging, but many other OEMs are now hard at work on this capability to leverage value from V2X (defined as EVs integrated with the grid, vehicles or demand response). Fermata has come to market with a UL-certified bi-directional charger today, but other EVSE companies are developing them now. David emphasized that utilities and their regulators need to get fully up to speed on V2X, and many are now doing that. He added that one of their pilots at a multi-unit dwelling has demonstrated how V2X can add critical value streams in serving low to moderate income residents and housing, while increasing access to mobility through EVs that can be part of car sharing.
Wrapping up the day was Fleet Management Best Practices at 2:30 pm, moderated by Tiffany Bailey from West Virginia Clean Cities, Jeb Corey from C&H Taxi, David Dunn from the City of Orlando, and Robert Gordon from DeKalb County, GA. Jeb focused on vehicle asset management using a cloud-based platform. Another key focus has been driver behavior. They use a camera system and have additional technology to monitor incidents of unsafe driving – they want to eliminate all accidents. Jeb is also excited about the role EVs will play in their future. David reinforced the message of data-driven decision-making. If you don’t measure, you can’t manage. He focuses relentlessly on three key performance indicators: preventative maintenance compliance, preventative to reactive maintenance ratio, and vehicle total cost of ownership. He also brought in a third-party to evaluate operations. That group analyzed data and conducted several interviews.
Robert broke down his fleet by fuel type, noting they have 16 different applications of CNG vehicles. He also emphasized that good specification writing begins with doing your research. That includes tapping into peer fleet managers and interviewing drivers. He discussed innovative recruitment strategies. Robert also emphasized their success in doing much in alternative fuels without grants – the vehicles have worked well economically. All fleets are welcome to follow up with them.
All registered attendees can access videos of these and other sessions through Whova. As always, let the Clean Fuels Ohio staff know how we can assist.